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Theatre Arts

College of Liberal Arts

Theatre artists are collaborators, creative thinkers, and hard workers. Whether onstage or backstage, they portray the power and possibilities contained within stories.

San Luis Obispo, California

Theatre arts provides you with a foundation in the theory and practice of theatre. Through academic instruction, hands-on activities and supervised training, you will develop knowledge of the various aspects of theatre including history, dramatic literature, playwriting, performing, production, directing, design and administrative practices.

The program is delivered within a Liberal Arts framework, intended to advance the value of collaboration at all levels of study and designed to produce theatre artists with strong written and verbal skills who are also globally-minded citizens, prepared to enter into a variety of fields. Theatre majors are members of a community which promotes the benefits of diversity, equity and inclusion and practices and advocates openness, respect and fairness.

Theatre Arts Curriculum

Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre

  • Primary performance venue for the Theatre and Dance Department featuring 495 seats and a proscenium stage.

Black Box Theatre

  • Rehearsal space for acting and directing classes and the mainstage productions.
  • A 65-seat performance venue for the annual one-act play festival and other student-directed plays.
  • Production venue for scene work presented by Students' Stage, a department and ASI sponsored club.
  • Dedicated classroom space for major specific activity-based courses.

Costume Shop Lab

  • Primary teaching lab for the Costume Construction I and II courses.
  • Costume construction for all mainstage department productions.

Design Lab

  • Primary teaching lab for design courses.
  • Six networked iMac computer workstations used for class related activities.
  • Student project and study space.

Scene Shop

  • Primary support facility for construction of Theatre and Dance Department productions.
  • Teaching lab for the Stagecraft I and II courses.

About the Program

Students building a set for a theatrical production

Theatre Arts allows you to experience how live theatre explores important ideas, portrays the vastness of human emotions and promotes the vitality of storytelling.

You will develop and enhance your abilities as a theatre artist and apply that knowledge in practical situations, acquiring skills in a variety of theatrical areas and practicing values and ethics that foster an inclusive environment where theatrical activity can flourish. 

Learn by Doing

With four main-stage shows, a one-act play festival, club performances and independent projects, there are plenty of opportunities to participate in live performing arts. The small program size allows our faculty to get to know you and create projects that mesh with your abilities and needs.

Student on ladder painting a set of a theatrical production.

Collaborate on a Production

Play a vital role — onstage or backstage — as a member of a mainstage theatrical production.

Our Graduates

Our graduates are trained as theatre artists with strong written and verbal skills who are also globally-minded citizens, prepared to enter into a variety of fields in California and around the country. Many graduates have gone on to careers on stage, in television and film, in education, in arts management or on to earn degrees at top graduate schools.